So you're a die-hard DIY-er, but you think it wise to start your carpet cleaning service using a business method that has proved itself. You realize that when it comes to setting up a business, doing it all yourself has considerable downsides. Consider the following:
Early fatal mistakes
You have probably heard a statistic something like 80% of businesses fail in the first year. According to the Small Business Administration it is actually 50% of SMALL business fail in the first 5 years. The reasons that the research gives are:
The biggest mistake is underestimating the difficulty ahead and over emphasizing the 'positive outlook' scenario or assuming your expectations are the reality at hand. The only way to know if you have a realistic rational view if the business landscape for your cleaning service niche is to get a lot of outside perspectives from qualified mentors. That does not mean take seriously ever opinion that you run into from your brother-in-law or your fishing buddy! It needs to be an experienced and successful mentor.
Obviously, you would aim to avoid making a fatal error in the first three to six months. Your newly hatched business cannot really recover from a high-magnitude error at that point.
One mistake people make at the startup stage is choosing a bad name for the business. The wrong name can turn off the clients you are trying to attract. It happens all the time. You want to catch the eye of high-end clients, but your name or tagline focuses on discounted or affordable services. You need to bear in mind that wealthy clients will perceive value in a completely different light than you might. They do not automatically value a discounted deal. More than likely they would value a top-quality service for which they would expect to pay top dollar.
Unaware of better tactics
One blind spot that exists for the DIY-preneur is not even being aware that an obstacle or a better tactic even exists. I remember cleaning my first year in business before I realized there were professionals making three times the amount I was. So what did they know that I did not? A lot, as it turns out.
You may be profitable and surviving and think you have it figured out. And you might. However, when you are operating with that assumption, you may also be missing out on very easy profit. You could be far more successful than you may realize. For example, our company has increased the value of our services, and the prices, over the life of our business, by learning how others do it. We now make fifteen times per transaction than we made ten years ago. Think about that. If I were to take the last ten years and figure in what we were missing out on by sticking with our original pricing compared to the value of our service and the price we charge now, it would be a huge pile of money. Learn from others from the beginning. I still see competitor start-ups assuming they can only charge what we assumed was the reasonable price ten years ago. They are making the same mistake we made, all over again. Learning from others will save you money and show you how to maximize your service in ways you may not be aware of.
You will spend a great volume of time going through the trial and error process, testing what works, and what doesn't. But why reinvent the wheel? You do not need to go through that lengthy time-wasting process, because many others have gone before you, so you can and should learn from them. This does not mean you should slavishly follow in the footsteps of some mentor, but that having a mentor is an intelligent and efficient way to proceed in setting up your business, right from the start. It is good to experiment, but not so smart to perform the same experiment that countless others have already done and figured out. Look at it this way. Instead of wasting your time inventing a new wheel, use the wheel to come up with your truly novel ideas. Build a base by building on what those who came before you already discovered. Learn from them.
The carpet cleaning business methods you employ to run your business will determine the direction of your company's future, so be sure to get a qualified mentor to help guarantee your success in the early stages.